Mary Black - Stories From The Steeples - 180g LP

Product no.: PPAN015

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Mary Black - Stories From The Steeples - 180g LP
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AAA 100% Analogue This LP was Remastered using Pure Analogue Components Only from the Master Tapes through to the Cutting Head

Pure Pleasure /  Dara - PPAN015 - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl 

Pure Analogue Audiophile Mastering by Kevin Gray

AAA 100% Analogue - Pressed at Pallas in Germany - Limted Edition

Hi-Fi News – April 2014 by Ken Kessler  Black’s first recording in six year rewards the faithful who cherish the uncanny ability to sound contemporary despite being inextricably a part of the Irish folk tradition. It’s strengths are the impeccable musicianship and seductive sound, somehow managing to be polite and genteel, without ever becoming cloying. The atmosphere she creates is mournful –I did say ‘Irish folk tradition’ right? – but songs like ’Fifi The Flea’and ‘The Night Is On Our Side’ lighten up the mood, three superstar duets, with Imelda May, Finbar Furey and the legendary Janis Ian, add a sense of occasion to an event, Blacks followers would celebrate regardless. KK
 
Sonically, as usual from Pure Pleasure, very exquisite 5/5 LPreview

Mary Black has been at the forefront of Irish music for over 25 years. Stories From the Steeples marks the 2012 reunion of Mary Black, recognized as Ireland's premiere female vocalist, with Blix Street, whose Gifthorse label established Black in America in 1990.

Mary Black has been at the forefront of Irish music for over 25 years. Stories From the Steeples marks the 2012 reunion of Mary Black, recognized as Ireland's premiere female vocalist, with Blix Street, whose Gifthorse label established Black in America in 1990.

Stories From the Steeples, named for the Dublin studio where it was recorded, comes straight from the heart. Eleven songs of life, love, loss, struggle and hope are the perfect rocky terrain for Black. With writers rooted in Ireland, Australia, the UK and America, the diverse and adventurous material offers more than a few delicious surprises.

"Mary’s voice - a precision instrument of beauty that the passing years only seem have furnished with yet more grace and compassion."

"Despite its title and front cover art, Stories from the Steeples, Mary Black's first recording in six years, is not a collection of hymns. It is titled for the Dublin studio where it was recorded. These 12 new selections are, in typical Black form, an impeccable mix of traditional-sounding and contemporary material. There is an enormous list of contributing players on these sessions, but the constants are guitarist Bill Shanley, keyboardist and accordionist Pat Crowley, double bassist Nick Scott, and fiddler Matt McGranahan...

Three duets are strategically placed in this set. “Walking with My Love,” an easy shuffler, is sung with countryman and Irish music legend Finbar Furey, who also plays banjo on it. "Lighthouse Light" sounds like it could have come from Ireland in the early 1960s (and maybe its melody originally did), but it was actually written by the Boston-based Irish songwriter Ry Cavanaugh; it features Black singing with the incomparable Janis Ian. The real surprise though, is the album's first single, "Mountains to the Sea," written by Australians Shane Howard and Neil Murray.

Walking the line between Celtic, contemporary folk, and pop, Black is joined by countrywoman and chart-topping rock & roll singer Imelda May. Each woman does what she does best -- May doesn't rein herself in, Black doesn't try to rock it up. Their voices, phrasing, and timbres complement one another beautifully, weaving together seamlessly on the refrain... Stories from the Steeples is a welcome return for one of contemporary folk music's finest voices and most original stylists; it is also a stand-out album in Black's solo catalog." - Thom Jurek, allmusic.

Black’s first recording in six year rewards the faithful who cherish the uncanny ability to sound contemporary despite being inextricably a part of the Irish folk tradition. It’s strengths are the impeccable musicianship and seductive sound, somehow managing to be polite and genteel, without ever becoming cloying. The atmosphere she creates is mournful –I did say ‘Irish folk tradition’ right? – but songs like ’Fifi The Flea’and ‘The Night Is On Our Side’ lighten up the mood, three superstar duets, with Imelda May, Finbar Furey and the legendary Janis Ian, add a sense of occasion to an event, Blacks followers would celebrate regardless. KK

 Re-mastered by Kevin Gray 

Recorded and mixed by Billy Robinson at Westfield and Steeples Studio

Mary Black - vocals, harmonica, percussion
Pat Crowley - keyboards, accordeon, vocals
Andrew Holdsworth - keyboard
Bill Shanley - bass, guitar, keyboard, mandolin, ukelele, vocals
Finbar Furey - banjo, vocals
Janis Ian - guitar, vocals
Imelda May - vocals
Martin Ditcham - drums, percussion

1. Marguerite and the Gambler
2. The Night Was Dark and Deep
3. Mountains to the Sea (feat. Imelda May)
4. Faith In Fate
5. Steady Breathing
6. Walking With My Love
7. All the Fine Young Men
8. The Night Is On Our Side
9. Lighthouse Light
10. Wizard of Oz
11. One True Place
12. Fifi the Flea

Mary Black - Stories From The Steeples - 180g LP

 

 
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At the beginning of the 90s, in the early days of audiophile vinyl re-releases, the situation was fairly straightforward. Companies such as DCC, Mobile Fidelity, Classic Records and, of course, Pure Pleasure all maintained a mutual, unwritten ethical code: we would only use analogue tapes to manufacture records. During the course of the present vinyl hype, many others have jumped on the bandwagon in the hope of securing a corner of the market. Very often they are not so ethical and use every imaginable source to master from: CDs, LPs, digital files, MP3s – or employed existent tools from the 80s and 90s for manufacturing.

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